The Pyramid

( 2 )

Overview


Egypt in the twenty-sixth century BC. The young pharaoh Cheops wants to forgo the construction of a pyramid in his honor, but his court sages hasten to persuade him otherwise. The pyramid, they tell him, is not a tomb but a paradox, designed to appease the masses by oppressing them. It is a symbol of nothing, a useless and infinite project designed to waste the country’s wealth and keep security and prosperity, ever the fonts of sedition, constantly at bay. And so the greatest ...
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Overview


Egypt in the twenty-sixth century BC. The young pharaoh Cheops wants to forgo the construction of a pyramid in his honor, but his court sages hasten to persuade him otherwise. The pyramid, they tell him, is not a tomb but a paradox, designed to appease the masses by oppressing them. It is a symbol of nothing, a useless and infinite project designed to waste the country’s wealth and keep security and prosperity, ever the fonts of sedition, constantly at bay. And so the greatest pyramid in the world has ever seen begins to rise.

Rumors multiply. A secret police is formed. Conspiracies—real and imagined—swirl around the rising edifice. The most drastic purges follow. By the time the first stone is laid, Cheops’s subjects are terrified enough to yield to his most murderous whims. Each time one of the massive stones is hoisted into place, dozens of men are crushed, and there are tens of thousands of stones. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
“A hypnotic picture of a world drenched in death and crowded with stones . . . A haunting meditation on the matter-of-fact brutality of political despotism.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review

Richer and more encompassing than a political fable . . . Like Kafka, Kadare has the gift of writing parables of great weight in the lightest of tones.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611458008
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/9/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 641,159
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 5.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ismail Kadare is the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize, and is acclaimed worldwide as one of the most important writers of our time. Translations of his novels have been published in more than forty countries. He divides his time between Paris, France, and Tirana, Albania.

David Bellos is the author of a number of award-winning literary biographies and the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize for translation in 2005. He lives in New Jersey and teaches French, Italian, and Comparative literature at Princeton University.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Bizzare, un-historical

    I can only imagine that the author is attempting some kind of experimental or metaphorical fiction here. Virtually every element of this novel contradicts what we know about ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramid, and its construction. The Pharoah is consistently called by the outmoded, Hellenized version of his name, the old myth about the Great Pyramid being built by slaves rears its head, and the reason given for building the pyramid at all is illogical and absurd. Nor can any of this be explained by the advance of knowledge; this book came out after modern excavations on the Giza plateau disproved all of the old assumptions. Since Kadare chose not to avail himself of modern knowledge of the people who built the Great Pyramid, I have to assume this was some kind of parody. If so, I didn't get it, and didn't like what I read before giving up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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